Women Targeted In Army's New 'A Soldier Is A Soldier' Recruitment Campaign

Women account for only 9.8% of the British Army and are only slightly better represented in the Army Reserves at 14.2%.

The British Army has launched a new recruitment campaign as it continues to push for more women to sign up.

The new campaign 'A Soldier Is A Soldier' was announced on Thursday and focuses on the idea that soldiers are defined by their skills, not their gender.

The latest recruitment drive comes against a background where women account for only 9.8% of the British Army and are only slightly better represented in the Army Reserves at 14.2%.

The campaign aims to highlight the Army's status as an inclusive employer with equal pay according to rank, and equal expectations for all soldiers.

One video advert, narrated by serving female soldiers, opens with the question "what's it like being a female soldier?", with the narrator replying "I wouldn't know because, in the Army, a soldier is a soldier".

It also shows "ridiculous concepts" of female-adapted equipment such as "beach body rations" and a rifle with an "easy-pull trigger for smaller hands", and outlines how these do not exist.

The voiceover goes on to speak about how there are no male or female signs on toilet doors or teams of women in the Army.

The campaign will see a number of adverts across cinema, video-on-demand, radio, and social media.

Major General Sharon Nesmith, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command (ARITC), said the campaign was focused on inspiring new recruits.

"The Army is incredibly proud of the progress that has been made towards gender equality," said the officer who, in January, became the first female to lead a division-level command in British Army history.

"Huge changes have taken place over the last few years, and we want to continue to make positive changes to attract and retain the best talent regardless of gender.

Watch: Army meets recruitment target for the first time – last year – since the Capita contract started.

"We hope that 'A Soldier Is A Soldier' challenges people's perceptions of female soldiers and highlights the incredible work all of our soldiers do, in order to inspire potential new recruits to consider Army jobs."

The campaign was developed by an advertising agency working with Capita, the firm which has been working on increasing recruitment in partnership with the Army since 2012.

The 10-year recruitment deal between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Capita has been a troubled one, and in February 2020, the Army said it was set to meet its recruitment target for the first time since working with the outsourcing firm.

As the push to recruit more women in the Army continues, the service has seen a number of firsts for female personnel.

Captain Rosie Wild became the first woman to pass the Parachute Regiment’s gruelling course in November 2019, while Second Lieutenant Hannah Bird made history in April when she became the first woman to commission as an officer into the Guards Division of the British Army.  

However, these advances for women in the military come against a background where women still feel 'let down' and 'very much offended' by the Armed Forces complaints system.